Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA)

Orange County Grade Separations Head Toward Construction

Construction on the Placentia Avenue and Kramer Boulevard grade separation projects are expected to cost millions of dollars less than anticipated.

The Orange County Transportation Authority approved a contract with Flatiron West, Inc. this week for the Placentia Avenue project. The firm was the lowest responsible bidder at $23.8 million, approximately 30 percent below the project's estimated cost.

Bids also opened today for the Kramer Boulevard grade separation project. The apparent low bidder was Atkinson Construction at $32.6 million. The original project cost was estimated at $35.8 million.

"We are looking forward to these projects getting under way and eliminating the time wasted by drivers sitting idle at railroad crossings waiting for trains to pass," said OCTA chair Patricia Bates, also the Fifth District supervisor. "Implementing these projects will improve the economy, the environment and our quality of life."

OCTA is working to improve traffic flow and safety at seven crossings along the Burlington North Santa Fe rail line in north Orange County by building a series of bridges — both underpasses and overpasses — to separate car traffic from trains.

Known as the O.C. Bridges Program, the projects will improve traffic flow and safety for drivers and pedestrians. Placentia Avenue, which borders the cities of Fullerton and Placentia, and Kramer Boulevard will be the first of the seven projects to begin construction later this year.

"Creating employment opportunities and protecting our quality of life through infrastructure projects like the O.C. Bridges Program is a critical component in rebuilding our economy," said OCTA CEO Will Kempton.

Nearly 70 trains a day travel along the BNSF rail line through Anaheim, Fullerton and Placentia and that number is anticipated to increase more than 45 percent by 2030.

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